Sprouts Farmers Soars on Earnings Beat

Sprouts Farmers says same-store sales rose 1.5% in its fourth quarter.
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Shares of grocer Sprouts Farmers Market  (SFM) - Get Report were rising double digits Friday after the company reported fourth-quarter results ahead of Wall Street expectations.

The stock jumped 15.67% to $18.56.

The Phoenix-based company reported fourth-quarter net sales of $1.4 billion, an 8% increase of the same period a year ago, while adjusted earnings rose to 27 cents a share from 19 cents  a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $1.36 billion.

Sprouts said that same-store sales growth was a key point of focus in the quarter, and the company responded by raising comps by 1.5%.

The company reported operating income of $46.9 million, up from $28.8 million a year ago.

“During the fourth quarter, I was encouraged by the Sprouts team’s dedication to driving same-store sales growth, while we simultaneously delivered positive margins,” said CEO Jack Sinclair. “We remain engaged in developing a long-term strategy and are optimistic about the future of Sprouts rooted in a brand that is good for you, good for your family and good for the planet.”

For 2020, the company noted that the fiscal year will be 53 weeks as opposed to a normal 52-week year, with an estimated impact of $120 million in sales and 6 cents a share in earnings. The effects of the extra week are expected to be accrued in the fourth quarter.

The company said it opened 28 new outlets while closing one, taking its total to 340 stores in 22 states. 

Analysts at Bernstein upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform with a $22 price target.